Home' Asian Aviation : AAV March 2011. Contents Air China took delivery on 1 February of its first Boeing 737-800 to be fitted with
the manufacturer's new Boeing Sky Interior, making the carrier the first in China to
operate an aircraft with the redesigned cabin.
According to the manufacturer, the Boeing Sky Interior offers passengers "an
enhanced on-board experience" with larger stowage bins and sculpted sidewalls, a
lighting system based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs), with cove lighting and curved
architecture and more intuitive passenger service panels.
The new interior is the latest in a series of improvements Boeing is making to
its single-aisle Next-Generation 737 range. Next to come will be a package of
performance improvements that will cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions by
2 percent -- making the aircraft a full 7 percent more efficient than the first Next-
Generation 737s delivered, according to Boeing.
The performance improvements to the airframe and engine are now in certification
testing, and will be phased into production between mid-2011 and early 2012.
To date, Boeing has gathered 1,689 orders for aircraft with the new interior, from
60 customers around the world. -- Andrzej Jeziorski
Thai low-cost carrier (LCC) Nok Air posted a
profit of 618 million baht (US$22.4 million) for
the business year ended 31 December, a jump
of 84 percent from the previous year.
Revenue from the carrier's passenger business
increased 37 percent to 3.97 billion baht. The
results marked the airline's best performance
since it started operations in 2004.
The Bangkok-based, domestic LCC has
gradually been turning its business around,
after a major restructuring in June 2008 aimed
at stemming losses from the travel demand
slump that resulted from the global economic
Nok Air Chief Executive Officer Patee Sarasin
says the carrier sees passenger revenues
increasing by about 35 percent in 2011,
although profit will probably fall due to rising oil
The airline plans to lease seven Boeing 737-
800 single-aisle jetliners and four ATR 72-500
turboprops over the next three years. It currently
operates a fleet of 10 737-400s, six of which
are leased from shareholder Thai Airways
International, alongside two ATR 72-500s, also
leased from the national carrier.
These leased aircraft will be returned to Thai
Airways when Nok Air takes delivery of the last
of the new 737-800s and ATR 72s in late 2013.
Nok Air's network covers 20 destinations.
In a separate development, Krung Thai Bank
-- which holds a 10 percent stake in Nok Air --
has turned down Thai Airways' offer to acquire
its stake for 150 million baht, 20 million baht
more than previously offered. A bank official in
Bangkok says the offer price remains too low.
"The bank will consider offloading the stake
should there be a better offer," the official adds.
Thai Airways owns 39 percent of Nok Air,
with 10 percent stakes held by Krung Thai, the
Government Pension Fund, Dhipaya Insurance
and private investors. CPB Equity owns a further
6 percent, while Siam Commercial Bank,
Thailand Prosperity Fund and King Power hold 5
percent each. -- William Dennis
Air China takes delivery of first 737 with Boeing Sky Interior
Nok Air records higher profit as travel demand recovers
Debt-riddled Malaysian cargo carrier
Transmile Air has signed an agreement to sell
four MD-11F freighters to Federal Express
(FedEx) for US$69.6 million.
FedEx has already taken delivery of the first
aircraft. The remaining three are expected to
be handed over later this year, after heavy
maintenance checks are completed.
According to an official of Transmile Air
Services (TAS) which owns the carrier, proceeds
from the sale will be used to partially settle the
company's outstanding debt, which stood at
US$176.3 million, as of 30 September 2010.
The four aircraft have been parked at
Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, 25km outside
Kuala Lumpur, since August 2008. TAS had
previously planned to sell the aircraft in 2008,
but the carrier was stuck with low offers due
to poor market demand for the aircraft, which
are 19 years old.
The sale is expected to expedite the
restructuring of the cargo carrier. The company
was served with a winding-up petition on 4
June 2010, but secured a restraining order
from the Kuala Lumpur High Court and has 90
days from 6 January to reach a consensus with
creditors on debt restructuring.
Transmile Air's financial problems started in
June 2007, after an accounting scandal broke
that left three senior company executives
facing charges of giving misleading financial
statements. Since then, the airline has had
trouble settling its large debt. It also faces
potential de-listing from the main board of
the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.
Transmile, which started operations in
March 1996, is 94.4 percent Malaysian
owned, with the remaining 5.6 per cent is
owned by a foreign private investor.
TAS says it now has a fleet of nine
Boeing 727-200Fs and one 737-300F.
Troubled Transmile Air sells four MD-11F freighters
Air China has become the first Chinese carrier to
operate an aircraft with the new Boeing interior.
14 AsianAviation | MARCH 2011
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